To bring awareness to the body, is to bring peace to the center of oneself, to connect the mind, the body and spirit in harmony to create comfort and stability. I practice bringing awareness to my center daily, whether it be through mindful mediation, a few deep breathing techniques everyday or just hitting the gym and throwing weight around with some deep stretching at the end.
Although, there are different types of awareness, one of which could be awareness of situation. It seems when something trends on social media, it clouds your feed for days, weeks, months… well you get my point. Like most things we scroll, and passively look, comment and continue with our lives. How do you passively scroll through a feed that is your everyday reality, a past you try to forget and a future you cannot avoid.
If I put a #metoo behind every encounter I have had that qualifies as sexual assault, domestic violence and unfortunately for me; rape, stomachs would turn, people would be outraged. But, inevitably they would continue on with their lives and live just as they were before. Unless, they too have been affected by one of these atrocious crimes. It will haunt them, continuously, they will relive their situation, or situations.
I can’t stay away from social media, a part of me wants to read the hashtags, I want to feel not alone, I want to know there are other women out there like me that have the deep feelings of unworthiness, a low self esteem, masked by an outward expression of confidence. How sick of me, to wish there were more women like me. I just don’t want to feel alone. I also wish there were no other women like me, because this feeling of deep depression and unworthiness and fear of everyday life is exhausting and mentally draining.
The more I read the stories, these strong, beautiful, women on my timeline post, I realize that I am in fact not alone, and I will never be alone. That feeling of aloneness, it never goes away tho. Do I just pick up my phone so we can share stories? There are so many different levels to what each woman experiences, and not each experience is the same and not every woman accepts, and copes with everything the same. Because of this, I feel alone.
I wake up everyday battling myself, as my worst critic, my worst enemy. Other days, I wake up as my best friend, my biggest advocate and it comes so easily. Is it sad to say, that sometimes, I go back and reread friends post that I have screenshot and saved, to remind myself that this is not a battle that just I face.
My biggest fear in all of my triggers, flashbacks and obsessions, is losing the one person that means the most to me right now. Will my obsession of not feeling alone, constant criticism of self and degradation of character push him away. After a decade of friendship and constant reassurance that he isn’t going anywhere, I still have a constant fear that I am the most broken human being he’s ever encountered and I am incapable of love. Every man to this point has never fought for me, never changed their lives to be with me and has never given me so much unconditional love.
These feelings stem from my #metoo.
#metoo: I was standing outside pumping my gas, you grabbed my hand and told me to take your number even after I said I didn’t want it. You wouldn’t leave me alone until I took it. I was scared, it was dark and no one but the cashier on his cellphone was around. I erased your number immediately after. But you shouldn’t have grabbed me and you shouldn’t have forced your number into my phone
#metoo: I was jogging with my dog, and you followed me in your car. Screaming at me, thinking I couldnt hear you because my headphones were too loud, but what you didn’t know was my headphones were not on. I wear them so I can pretend to not hear people cat calling me. You proceeded to block the sidewalk with you car and demand I take you number. It took another man to tell you leave me alone, for you to respect my privacy and my right to say no.
#metoo: I was out with my friends trying to have a good time, and you ran your arm across my belly, grabbing my hand and pulling me off track to tell me, ” you look good tonight baby, who are you going home with.” I was going home by myself and did not need you to grab me to figure out.
#metoo: I let you into my house after knowing you for a few months, I was okay with cuddling with you and staying up late to watch a movie. I told you I wasn’t ready for anything physical. You got so aggressive with me, couldnt accept my no and wouldn’t stop begging me to have sex with you. I was afraid to be raped again. I was afraid that you would take something from me that I wasn’t ready to give. I couldn’t fight you, so I froze. I let it happen. I let you have sex with me, because I was afraid to fight for myself. I gave you a piece of my body that I told you over and over that you couldnt have. When you asked me how it was and I rolled over in tears and in pain, I could not give you a straight answer because I blacked out to escape any memory.
#metoo: I just wanted to go to the football game with my friends. I decided to change my shoes before walking to the shoe. You came up to me in a drunken stopper, and caressed my legs, my feet even went as far as kissing my feet. You sat on my lap and rubbed your filthy hands all over my body, barricading me into my car and not allowing me to move. You made sure I couldnt move my hands and I could not get up. Not until I told you I was going to call the cops did you get up and tell me I was a stupid bitch and you knew “I wanted it.” I just wanted to enjoy a tailgate with friends.
#metoo: I told you before I came over, a movie was cool and then I had to go home and keep studying. I believed you, when you told me that it was going to be just a movie and I needed to stop being lame and paranoid. I believed you. I considered you my friend. You raped me. I said no, you held my hands above my head and watched tears roll down my face as I shook my head back and forth begging you to stop. You took something from me that wasn’t yours. You raped me. You sent me down a long path of self destruction, feeling of unworthiness, and fear of the real world. Because of you, and the countless other men before and after you that have disrespected me, I have jaded opinions of myself and my worth. Placing the value of myself below what it actually is.
I could write a small novel on all of my #METOO stories. They all stick in my head as is they happened yesterday, or even 5 minutes ago. I wake up with his face in my mind, sometimes even the most gentle of touches on my wrist send me back. Through all of this, I am still loving like I have never lost, been hurt or abused. My #metoo, is another survivor story waiting to be heard.
Fighting through this time is one of the hardest times, but I can only believe and be hopeful that this is going to make me stronger and wiser. The only thing that has ever come from challenging moments for me is great strength. I will continue to support and love the women who share their stories and hope to one day be the best advocate for myself and for others, the advocate I needed when I wasn’t as strong as I am now.